The architects brought the two buildings back into a conversation across a re-instated central passageway. Contrasting facade treatments acknowledge and express the buildings’ different pasts. This will to keep multiple histories alive is further developed through the layers of the two buildings and the crafting of the interiors.

Each careful decision made in shaping the redevelopment of the complex was informed by a close understanding of the long history of the two buildings. This understanding was filtered, through the lens of an intellectual and sensitive interpretation, to produce an enriched architectural solution.

The judges came away deeply impressed by how an old building could be given new life by reflecting on its past. It was a past that included three eras of demolition and remodelling, each carrying its generation’s memory. The new architecture embedding the past in itself, is a confident commentary on, and an abstract resolution to, the nation’s history.

The jury unanimously agreed to give the project a Design Award in both the Institutional and Conservation categories, and further acknowledged its depth and brilliance by giving it the highest accolade of the Building of the Year.